Obama’s EPA rolls out ‘most expensive regulation ever’

Obama's EPA

President Obama is showing no signs of slowing down his big govenrment liberal agenda on the heels of the 2014 midterm elections, where Republicans re-captured the Senate for the first time since 2006 and increased their majority in the House. The day before Thanksgiving, Obama proposed a new EPA regulation that business groups are calling “the costliest regulation of all time,” according to POLITICO.

From their account:

President Barack Obama has already blinked once on the rule, which aims to limit smog-creating ozone pollution after 2020 from power plants and factories: Just before Labor Day in 2011, he forced the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw an almost-final version of the rule, infuriating green groups that accused him of capitulating to industry pressure to ease his reelection. Obama said he was acting to “underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty.”

Now, facing a court order to issue a new proposal by next week, EPA has just issued a rule essentially as strong as the one the White House squelched three years ago — though not quite as strict as many environmental groups are calling for. It would lower the amount of ground-level ozone pollution that is considered healthy to breathe, which in turn could lead to costly new requirements for air pollution permits in much of the country.

Conservatives and business groups are outraged over the increased regulatory authority exercised by the EPA in recent years, particularly a proposed rule that may bring standing water in drainage ditches under the Agency’s purview as a “navigable water” via the “Definition of the Waters of the U.S.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been a strong critic of the EPA, taking his view of the Agency’s overreach to Bill Maher’s HBO program a few weeks ago and writing extensively about it in his book Government Bullies.

Republicans, and some Democrats, are pushing back. POLITICO continues:

Indeed, Republicans are already on the march against the rule. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the incoming chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement Tuesday night that EPA’s proposal “will lower our nation’s economic competitiveness and stifle job creation for decades,” and he vowed that it “will face rigorous oversight” from the new Congress.

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter argues that tightening the ozone standard “will shut down job-creating projects in every state,” and South Dakota Sen. John Thune introduced legislation that would force EPA to postpone the action. “I expect there to be strong, bipartisan opposition to what will be the most expensive EPA regulation in history,” Thune said in a statement Monday, adding that a lower ozone limit would “have a devastating impact on American jobs and energy prices.”

The rule also alarms some Democrats, such as Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who pleaded with Obama last week to back off. “The growth of our economy is dependent on it,” he wrote.

Agencies like the EPA have attempted to increase thieir power dramatically under the Obama Adminsitration, but Congress has long delegated many of its own powers to executive agencies. The Cato Institute has thoroughly covered this.

Conservatives must put pressure on the Republican-controlled Congress to force the federal bureaucracy to reverse course and surrender some of its power back to Congress. Otherwise we may wake up one day with a legislative branch with no power and an executive branch will all the power.


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